How to make an emotional connection with your marketing

Why would you want or need to make an emotional connection with your marketing? Well, as Seth Godin puts it so well “people don’t want what you make or do – they want the way it will make them feel”. And Maya Angelou is often credited with this quote “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.

Marketing is created to convince people to make a change. Change involves emotion – either positive or negative. We change to avoid bad things or we change to enjoy good things – it is all about our emotions. To ensure that your marketing is successful you need it to make an emotional connection with your audience – your community.

What motivates your customers to buy?

Before we can make an emotional connection with our marketing we need to understand the motivation behind our customers purchasing. People buy for a variety of reasons; to stand out from the crowd or to be part of the crowd. An example is clothing – it can be bought to create an individual look or bought to look like everyone else when attending a rugby match.

Some buy out of fear (think insurance) and some buy to experience freedom (think holidays). Some buy for comfort or nostalgia and some for well-being. Some buy for gratification and some to be generous. But everyone buys with some emotion attached to the deal.

Some of these emotions are fear, guilt, trust, happiness, pride, generosity, belonging, individuality, love, relief and sadness.

So, your customers are buying with emotion and connecting to this emotion is a way of beginning a relationship which will hopefully result in satisfied customers who want to buy from you again and again.

What change do your customers want?

If people only buy because they want a change then what is the change your customers are wanting? This is the fundamental question which will allow you to frame your marketing in a way that will make an emotional connection with your customers.

Do customers buy pre-packaged meal boxes to save time? Probably not. But do they want to change the meals they are eating and change the meal decision making process? That is likely to be yes. The emotion involved is usually pleasure which is why the adverts about meal boxes involve happy families cooking and eating together.

Customers buy carpet cleaning because they want to change the way their house looks to them. They buy house cleaning services for the same reason. They will justify it by talking about time saving but actually the change they want is the satisfaction of their home looking good leading to the emotions of happiness and pride.

When you focus on the change your customers want, then it is much easier to work out the emotions that are going to be involved instead of the logic that is often used to justify the cost. Forget time-saving, wanting quality or saving money. These are the justifications but not the emotional reasons that drive their purchases. And if you want to make an emotional connection with your marketing this is where you will find the emotions.

So what change does your product or service provide to your customers? Why are they really going to buy from you (or your competitors)? Don’t think logically but think about the emotions involved. Which of the earlier emotions listed are they going to experience? If you can get to the heart of their buying decision then you can ensure that your marketing relates to it.

How can you tap into that emotion?

Once you know that your customer wants a change so they can feel proud then it is obvious that using words and images which show pride and enjoyment are going to resonate with them. Same for happiness, relief, generosity, security and every other emotion. No more boring people to death with the features of your product or service – now you can focus on how it will make them feel.

By now you might be thinking but….. my product or service is different so I need to market it differently. Actually, every product or service is purchased with emotion. Don’t believe me? How about toilet paper? Which type do you buy and why? Some want to treat their body gently, some hate running out all the time and some want to feel thrifty so they can treat themselves with something else.

But all of these reasons are about emotions. To make an emotional connection with their marketing the toilet paper companies use pets, cute cartoon characters or tell stories – all working on the emotions.

So if you didn’t answer the earlier question about the change you bring to your customers then go back now and think about it. You can’t make an emotional connection with your marketing if you don’t know what emotion you are trying to connect to.

If you emotionally connect what happens?

When your marketing connects emotionally with your customers then you are starting to build a relationship with them. You are starting to develop trust too. Of course to maintain a relationship and trust you have to deliver on your marketing promises. But at least you have a chance to do that if you have got a connection.

And what about these customers? Well they are more likely to spend more with businesses and brands they have an emotional connection to. So they are more likely to become regular customers.

They are also more likely to think about your business and to tell others via recommendations and reviews. The businesses that are recommended in social media posts are businesses that develop emotional connections with their community.

We know that word of mouth marketing is an essential part of the marketing of your business so it makes sense to do anything you can to develop it. If you would like to learn more check out

People who feel an emotional connection to your business are the most likely to become your champions and to care about supporting you. Think about the businesses you have an emotional connection to and how you want them to stay in business.

Review your marketing

It’s time to look again at what you are posting on social media, putting in brochures, adding to your website and telling people when you meet them.

Depending on who your ideal customers are and what change they are looking for you can start focusing on the words, ideas and images which share an emotional connection with their reason for buying. Whatever the emotion there are ways of supporting it with your marketing.

But, you must be real. Customers can see through a business pretending to have an emotional connection but actually just interested in increasing their profitability. To make an emotional connection with your marketing you must genuinely care about being able to satisfy your customers.

Once you have looked carefully into what it is that you are actually selling and why your customers really buy it then you can ensure that you make an emotional connection with your marketing so your customers can enjoy the way it makes them feel.

© Robyn Forryan 2021

The Biz Coach NZ

Leave a Reply